Ground beef fried rice is both savory and slightly sweet with a subtle touch of heat. Best of all, this is a dinner anyone can make in under 20 minutes!
Oh, fried rice, how I love you. Let me count the ways. Not only is it better than take-out fried rice, but it’s also budget-friendly and super easy, especially if you have leftover meat and vegetables in the fridge.
I try my best to keep leftover rice on hand in the refrigerator. (This is often easier said than done, as I have a family who really enjoys rice.) Whenever I cook rice for a side dish, or to serve with a stir fry, I cook twice the amount I think I will need for that meal.
I have no doubt you will find yourself doing this as well, once you’ve tried a few of these fried rice recipes. Cooked rice will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Simple Fried Rice Recipes
Chicken and Bacon Fried Rice was officially declared by my family as the best “unplanned and amazingly delicious” meal to come out of 2020.
Vegetable Fried Rice is filled with so many great flavors and textures, from crunchy sweet corn to tender-crisp broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and more.
Kielbasa and shrimp are added to our favorite fried rice recipe to make it a “two thumbs up,” kid-approved, hearty-as-can-be skillet meal
There is so much to love about Cauliflower Fried Rice. While you might think of cauliflower “rice” as something you eat in place of grains, this recipe proves that cauliflower rice is delicious and satisfying in its own right.
Mexican Fried Rice is filled with ground beef, bell peppers, black beans, corn, and green chile. This is a kid favorite that the whole family enjoys.
Pulled pork, steak, and chicken come together in the fried rice skillet of every meat lover’s dreams. My guys went crazy over this dinner.
Don’t forget the house rule: always double your rice so you have leftovers to make fried rice the next day. Every single time. You can thank me later.
Ground Beef Fried Rice
This ground beef fried rice recipe gets made pretty often. It easily satisfies our craving for Chinese takeout, while also requiring no leftover proteins need be on hand.
With a package of ground beef from the store (or from our freezer), a few eggs, and a bag of frozen peas vegetables, little more is needed to pull this meal together. In about 20 minutes, I can easily have this meal on the table.
The secret to perfect fried rice is in the eggs and rice. First, fry the eggs flat like a pancake. Pour the eggs into the pan and tilt as needed to spread them across the skillet.
Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip. Cook one more minute. Slide the egg from the skillet onto a cutting board and allow it to cool. Use a pizza cutter or a chef’s knife to slide the egg “pancake” into 1/2-inch wide strips and then into small pieces.
Second, the rice must be completely and totally cold, not just cooled to room temperature after cooking, but truly cold from the fridge. Ideally, it should be a few days old.
It is a fact that “old and cold” works best when making fried rice. Completely chilled rice will easily break apart into individual grains without clumping or sticking. This is the ideal rice for frying.
Fried Rice with Ground Beef
To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
- olive oil
- ground beef
- light brown sugar
- soy sauce
- chili paste
- kosher salt
- frozen peas or mixed vegetables
- COLD cooked Jasmine rice
- low-sodium soy sauce
- sesame oil
- green onions
Beef Fried Rice
Brown the ground beef and drain; add the ginger and garlic, sauteing for a minute or two. When fragrant, add the sauce made from brown sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and chili paste.
Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes to blend the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Add the peas, stir, and simmer a minute longer. The peas will thaw and warm in the hot skillet. Transfer to a bowl and return the empty pan to the stove.
Use the same pan to fry the rice with a small amount of soy sauce and sesame oil. Once the rice is heated and crisp, return the ground beef and peas to the skillet.
Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until everything is hot. Add the eggs and green onions to the skillet. Stir gently to mix. Taste and add salt, only if needed.
Vegetables and Rice
Spinach rice is a simple savory side complemented with onion, garlic, and a hint of lemon and parmesan cheese. Mushroom Rice comes together as the perfect side dish or serves as a meal all on its own.
Rice pilaf is a simple side that is easy to amp up into a main dish with the addition of vegetables or meat, like in this Vegetable Rice Pilaf.
Ground Beef Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 eggs beaten
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger cut into tiny matchsticks
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons chili paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- 1½ cups frozen peas or mixed vegetables
- 4 cups COLD cooked Jasmine rice
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 green onions sliced thin
To Cook the Eggs
- Warm a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl the oil to coat the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the pan and tilt as needed to spread them across the skillet.
- Let the eggs cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip. Cook one more minute. Slide the egg out of the skillet onto a cutting board and allow it to cool. Cut into 1/2-inch wide strips and then and cut into small pieces.
To Cook the Beef
- Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown the beef until cooked through, crumbling it as it browns. Drain thoroughly, then add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute or two until fragrant.
- Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, and chili paste. Pour the liquids over the beef, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes to blend the flavors and slightly thicken the sauce. Add the peas, stir and simmer a minute longer. The peas will thaw and warm in the hot skillet. Transfer to a bowl and return the empty pan to the stove.
To Cook the Rice
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and increase heat to medium high. Add the COLD rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir well, to distribute the sauce throughout the rice. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is heated through.
- Return the ground beef and peas to the skillet. Stir and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until everything is hot. Add the eggs and green onions to the skillet. Stir gently to mix. Taste and add salt, only if needed.